Football Springs to life

Published 9:34 am Wednesday, May 25, 2005

By By Tim Cottrell
Spring practice has come and gone, and now coach Kyle Davis and the Escambia County Blue Devils are resting up before a long summer.
The Blue Devils completed their intrasquad "Blue vs. White" scrimmage Friday afternoon at Herbert Barnes Stadium, in a game that the Blue team shutout the White by a score of 13-0.
Davis said he was pleased with the progress of the Blue Devils.
"I feel like recognition-wise, or at least knowing what to do, we made a lot of progress," Davis said. "Now as far as executing what to do, we're not there yet, but knowing what to do and who to block is coming along.
"We only had 10 days of practice," Davis continued. "I would've liked to have gotten in 15 like everyone else, but time just wouldn't allow that. We got in our base defense and our base offense, and I feel pretty good about that."
The Blue and White teams were split evenly among players. Calvin Hartley, starting quarterback for the Blue Devils, quarterbacked both squads for most of the game. Two younger quarterbacks ran the offenses in the latter stages of the game.
The teams as a whole mirrored that substitution pattern, with upperclassmen playing the majority of the game at every position, and younger players coming in during the second half.
Davis was particularly proud of a few players.
"We got good play out of our secondary on both sides," Davis said. "Kyler Carter, Darrell Stephens, Paris Wiggins, Larry Bowen…Norrell Walker was an eighth grader who played very well. He will see playing time next year as a ninth grader. Kenny Johnson and Willie Staples also played well at defensive back. The defenses on both sides played well, but that's to be expected in a spring game because defense is always ahead at offense. Eric Coley, Blake Walker, and David Quarker all played really well as young guys during the game as well."
Davis also praised his quarterback's progress in learning the new offense.
"Calvin is picking up the offense pretty nicely," Davis said. "He'll have it down by the fall."
Now that practice is over, Davis said the Blue Devils still had plenty of work to look forward to this summer.
"We've just got to get in here and get on the weights," Davis said. "We've got a strenuous program we're going to run. During June we're going to work out three days a week. I'm expecting a baby that month, so a lot of my coaches will cover that for me if I'm gone, but I'll bump it up to four days a week in July. We're also going to be running OL/DL days in June one day a week and skill position days one day a week. We're going to bump that up to two days a week during July. It'll give us a chance to make up ground in technical things. We can really make up the gap in that time."
Fall practice for ECHS will begin August 1.

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